Unsavoury Spectacle

The ongoing spat between ministers of the ruling party and the ECP continues to escalate and has now become an embarrassing spectacle. Following the objections raised by the ECP on the implementation of EVMs in time for the 2023 general elections, ministers spoke out against members of the ECP and even called the autonomy of the institution into question. Regardless of how one chooses to interpret the objections raised by the ECP, the claims of bribery and being partial to the opposition are unsavoury to say the least.

Politicising every issue is something that we must refrain from. It is even regrettable to see the ECP and its employees getting embroiled in this controversy, with reports emerging of notices being issued against federal ministers. Instead of prolonging this any further, both sides need to exercise better judgement and be wary of the need to set a better example for the public.

As has been said before, the introduction of newer technology is definitely something to look forward to if the process of conducting elections can be improved. However, such an undertaking cannot be done in haste and the objections raised by the ECP certainly hold a lot of weight. Even the Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) has warned against any attempt to amend the Elections Act 2017 without a political consensus. Such a move would cause political instability that could potentially reverse the process of democratic consolidation in Pakistan.

The procurement and implementation of EVMs is an important issue that must be deliberated with all the concerned stakeholders as such a decision will have far reaching consequences. This matter should not be politicised unnecessarily and should not be viewed from an “us against them” lens. Under no circumstances should the discourse devolve into personal attacks. Concerns should be raised via the appropriate channels, and institutions like the ECP should be allowed to do their job without being dragged into such controversies.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt